One of the most common types of shoulder arthritis is glenohumeral osteoarthritis. The glenohumeral joint is where the top of the humerus (upper arm bone) rotates in the glenoid cavity, which is the ball-and-socket structure of the shoulder. The bones comprising and supporting the shoulder socket are the clavicle (collarbone) and the scapula (shoulder blade).
Typical of arthritis, glenohumeral osteoarthritis causes symptoms such as pain, stiffness, limited joint function, and range of motion in the shoulder. This type of shoulder arthritis is a common cause of disability in the elderly, and it can also affect young athletes.
Let’s talk about the causes of glenohumeral osteoarthritis, what causes it to flare up, and what you can do to help relieve its symptoms.
Causes and Symptoms of Glenohumeral Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the glenohumeral joint of the shoulder can make it difficult to complete even the simplest of tasks. Even just lifting a coffee cup to your mouth can cause discomfort and shoulder pain. Moreover, pain from this type of shoulder arthritis can keep you awake at night or interrupt your sleep.
What causes glenohumeral osteoarthritis is similar to what causes wear-and-tear arthritis in other parts of the body, such as the knees. Athletes, seniors, and those who are overweight are particularly at risk of developing this condition.
Patients who have played baseball, golf, volleyball, or tennis are at a much higher risk of developing osteoarthritis in the shoulder. The same can be said of people whose occupations require frequent use of the shoulder in a circular motion, such as repairmen and moving crew.
How Does Shoulder Arthritis Start?
Glenohumeral osteoarthritis develops due to degenerative damage in the shoulder cartilage. This cartilage provides a protective lining between the humeral head (the top of the humerus) and the shoulder socket.
This particular cartilage lining is thinner than other linings throughout the body, since it is not a weight-bearing joint – such as the knees and hips. Without this cartilage providing proper protection, the bones that form the joint can rub against one another, which causes pain.
Complications can also accompany glenohumeral osteoarthritis, such as the formation of bone lesions and inflammation of the protective synovial layer around the bone. These changes can affect the mechanics of your shoulder and thereby cause worsening of the symptoms, because you are moving your shoulder awkwardly in order to avoid pain.
Treatment for Shoulder Arthritis in San Antonio, Texas
Patients who receive early treatment for osteoarthritis are able to stifle the progression of the disease and usually respond very well to conservative treatment methods. If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, and/or weakness in your shoulder, see an orthopedic doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your condition.
Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons here at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine provide comprehensive care to patients in South Texas who are suffering from shoulder pain. Whether the pain is due to an orthopedic injury or arthritis, we have a solution that will work for you.
To schedule a consultation, contact our team today by calling us at (210) 692-7400 or request an appointment by filling out our online form now. We look forward to helping you find relief from your shoulder pain so you can get back to enjoying life again.